Where miracles happen — Gratitude story

Where Miracles Happen — Gratitude Story

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Bob Giaimo, pictured in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, underwent successful treatment at MedStar Health.

As the co-founder, president, and chief executive officer of Silver Brands, a mid-Atlantic restaurant group with 23 locations, Bob Giaimo has long believed that nothing is impossible. That belief was put to the test in August of 2022 when he was diagnosed with an aggressive type of lymphoma—a cancer he was determined to beat.

After his diagnosis, Bob was seen by Kieron Dunleavy, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologist who serves as section chief of Hematology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

“I had heard about Dr. Dunleavy from my other providers and was aware of his reputation as one of the top lymphoma experts in the country,” Bob says. “I got in to see him in mid-September, and he rolled up his sleeves and said, ‘We’re going to get you through this.’ He gave me hope and it was a real game changer. He was amazing”.

Dr. Dunleavy’s active research background, combined with his extensive experience treating patients with advanced lymphomas, was just what Bob needed. He was put on a chemotherapy regimen which was administered once a week for six weeks in the Infusion Center at the hospital.

Melissa Giaimo Cotton with her husband and newborn son, Nicolas.“The Infusion Center was great…I’ve never had a more relaxing time than the days I spent there. I got to know everyone there, and they were all so compassionate and knowledgeable…especially my infuser, Angel,” he says. “I never had chemo kickback, was never tired, and was able to keep working.”

Making his experience at the Infusion Center even more memorable was that on his first day of treatment, his daughter Melissa Giaimo Cotton, delivered his first grandchild, Nicholas, two floors below him at MedStar Georgetown. Melissa has a condition that makes her high risk for pregnancy and is a long-time patient of Craig Kessler, MD, a professor in the Department of Medicine and Pathology in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the hospital.

Remarkably, by his fourth infusion treatment, Bob’s cancer was almost undetectable. After two more treatments, he had the honor of ringing the bell marking the end of his chemotherapy surrounded by all the caregivers he had gotten to know. “It was an uplifting experience,” Bob notes. “I am now cancer free, and I look and feel better than I did before I got cancer.”

To express his gratitude for the care he received from Dr. Dunleavy and the dedicated team of nurses and other providers at MedStar Georgetown, Bob made a generous leadership gift to support the Clinical Trials section of the Infusion Center and Dr. Kessler’s research on behalf of his daughter for helping to ensure Melissa’s good health throughout her pregnancy. “At MedStar Georgetown, they make miracles happen. I am so thankful.”

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